Building Relationships vs. Publishing Content:
Reflecting on the Renewed Interest In Migraine Disease
By Tim Armand
President and co-founder, Health Union
June 1, 2018
A new class of migraine drugs, called anti-CGRPs (calcitonin gene-related peptide) are expected to reinvigorate a market that has been largely dormant for some time. Four biopharma companies, Amgen, Teva, Lilly and Alder are entering the fray. Not surprisingly, the intense competition and pharma investment associated with this market dynamic has led traditional “eyeball driven” publishers, like WebMD, Everyday Health and others on a quest to offer substantially more migraine-related content in reaction to this market opportunity.
Reacting to this market dynamic opportunistically to capture impressions is one approach; proactively committing to building and sustaining relationships with people who live with a particular condition, regardless of market opportunity, is another. In contrast to the former, a model that nurtures and sustains relationships over time offers advertisers a means for transparently promoting their products in a credible environment.
When Health Union launched Migraine.com in 2010, blockbuster triptans were going off patent and investment in the migraine space was waning. However, our team recognized that patients’ needs weren’t waning and believed there was value in supporting patients through the journey, regardless of a commercial opportunity. Obviously, as a company that subsists partially on advertising revenue, Health Union helps companies reach patients in transparent and highly effective ways, but we support these online communities, and the people who comprise them, for the long haul. And that level of commitment benefits everyone. People with migraine have their needs for information, support, and connection met regardless of commercial opportunities; and companies can reach quality patients through an established and credible source, when the time is right for them and where people will be open to the messages.
With the launch of the anti-CGRP class, and the great promise these therapies hold for people with migraine disease, we have already seen a surge in migraine-related content from traditional publishers in an attempt to create a short term swell of eyeballs. Alternatively, established relationships, like those Health Union cultivates, will confer a level of trust and credibility that is ultimately more valuable to companies AND patients; the result being that people with migraine are able to learn about and access new therapies more efficiently and effectively.
As others chase the opportunity, Health Union will continue to support our unwavering purpose to build sustainable relationships with people who have challenging, chronic health concerns through ongoing support of the 18 (and counting) communities we serve, all day, every day. And when market opportunities arise in any of the conditions we support across general health, autoimmune, neuro-degenerative conditions and oncology, we will be poised and ready to help those companies transparently access our long-standing patient relationships to reach and engage people who will benefit most.